Monday, January 31, 2005

Sunday Brunch on Monday

Today, Sunday Brunch is all about BOOKS
"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." -Mark Twain
1) Do you use bookmarks? Yes.
2) What is your favorite book? The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings
3) Who is your favorite author? J.K. Rowling, I think, because of her fantastic imagination. I would buy any book written by her or by Gary Jennings.
4) What is the movie you feel is the most authentic version of a book? The Harry Potter series.
5) Is there a book you wish they would make into a movie and why? Any of Gary Jennings' books. I really liked Raptor or Aztec as well. Historical fiction is always interesting.

My weekend...

...was really relaxing and not much happened. I did, however, got my hair cut and colored yesterday. The cut is fine. The hair color is not. I've been to this salon before and the mistake is totally my fault. I wanted the same light brown color as I got last time. And I chose the color; I pointed to the swatch of hair but said the wrong number. I didn't realize that the number corresponding to the hair color was above, not below each sample, so I got the next darker shade and my hair is practically black. UGH! I look like a witch. I'll let my hair rest for a couple weeks, then I will go back to get the color I wanted. At least it didn't break the bank. The cost of a cut, color, manicure and pedicure all together was less than $35 US. Not bad.

I'm glad today is my slow day. My schedule is such that Mondays and Fridays I have only two classes to teach. However, final exams are due this Friday, so it's not like I'll be lounging around this week!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Sports Day

Today is Sports Day at our school. Thais make a HUGE deal about it and the teachers look like they are having just as much fun as the students. Most of us foreign teachers don't get it. I certainly don't. It's going to be an all day thing at the fitness center next door to us. The Thai staff wanted us to teach the students some English cheers, which we did, and do the students use them now? No. EVERYTHING is in Thai and that's why it's really boring to us. Eh, nevermind. I plan to sneak out early and work on my final exams, due in one week. They won't miss me, they're having too much fun. A few of the other foreign teachers will likely do the same thing. After enduring the endless noise of constant cheering, tambourine and drum beating, we could use the respite of some quietude AND it's hot as hell too. I plan to meet my husband for some lunch at a nearby cafe. Wish me luck to get away with it! LOL!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Rehearsals, rehearsals

On Friday, our school has what's called Sports Day, and it's an all day Olympic type event where the entire school participates. The school is divided into a white team and a blue team. Well, since Thais put a very important emphasis on presentation, the entire school is having a rehearsal of the whole thing today AND tomorrow. I get to miss out on teaching Math today because of it. LOL! And they rehearse the cheering about 10 or 15 minutes into first period every day. Oh, things are so different here. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Everything's going great

Yesterday, Golf's neice came by the apartment and gave us a whole bunch of baby stuff, mostly cute little boy clothes! We are so excited, that is just awesome. We won't really need to buy any onsies, and certainly no booties or little hand covers that makes them look like little paddles! LOL! So thank you, May! :)

We also went to the lawyer yesterday to start signing all the paperwork. Whew are we glad to have him do this stuff for us. We finished in an hour and came straight home. It was different going into town this time. I had on my maternity dress that I had made and it's more muu-muu style but certainly not hideous. This time, people let me have a seat on the Skytrain. Before, when I was in pants and a tunic-type shirt, nobody offered a seat and I thought that Thai people were just incredibly rude. I guess they just look at your clothes. If you're wearing a muu-muu, then you are obviously pregnant. If you dress with any sense of style, then you're just fat. It gave me hope anyway, that Bangkok people aren't ALL ignorant, rude asses. We always take only the Skytrain and taxi. No more busses for us.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Sitting in a noisy place full of little boys

Yep, that's where I am on my Sunday morning. Golf and I are so frustrated. Our phone line is so awful now, we can barely use our land line to even make local calls, much less use the internet from home. The static and crackling make it very difficult to hear. So we checked two internet cafes this morning, and both were closed. This last one caters to little boys that do online gaming, so this place is extremely noisy and caotic with teenagers and younger kids shouting at each other, loud music and the sounds of video games blasting. UGH. Right after this we plan to go talk to the landlord who told us LAST WEEK that he'd call a technician about the phone line. Again, thank goodness for my internet at work, but my poor husband! What's he to do? We look forward to getting reliable service once we move back to California.

The rest of my weekend should be good. Yesterday we went to see Meet the Fockers and it was a very amusing movie. I bought my bread and some Mexican food and other western food at the big grocery store. For lunch today we plan to go to this market we always enjoy where I get either a chicken or pork pot pie. Since the bird flu is coming back, I will probably opt for the pork one. I'm so tired of eating so much pig. They eat alot of pigs in Asia. I can't wait to cook more vegetarian food when I move back home. Oh, I also regularly have shrimp Vietnamese fresh spring rolls with my pot pie. I love variety! LOL!

We meet with our lawyer tomorrow afternoon to sign a bunch of papers and get this immigration process rolling.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Saw the lawyer yesterday

We're finally in the immigration process! We met with our American immigration lawyer and he gave us lots more information and made us feel like we were making a very smart choice in not doing this ourselves. Factors kept popping up that we had both not even considered. The best news is that the worse case scenario for getting Golf's visa isn't too bad. In the worse case, we'd be back to the States by September, one month earlier than our first idea of coming back by October. So I'm pretty happy about that. Best case scenario is that we will be able to come at the beginning of August or even late July. The only complicated thing involves working out something with my parents, and they're on the road, enjoying their retirement somewhere in Arizona at the moment. I'll give them a call tomorrow. Wish me luck!

So now today my poor husband is going to the dentist for the first in a series of fillings. At least he's getting it done now. I plan to get a cleaning soon too, and at some point before we move back home and after the baby's born, I need to get some fillings and possibly get some wisdom teeth pulled. This is the place to do it. It's very inexpensive in comparison to the States but the quality of work is the same.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Got the baby registry up

I think we've got our baby registry just about completed. I have it listed on my pregnancy site. I will likely add more items as time goes on. What I will need for sure is a mattress for the crib, which BabiesRUs has a lousy selection. But Target has a good one here. So what I think I will do is make up a baby registry for Target and add it as a link to my pregnancy site as well, so the BabiesRUs will be the main Baby Registry link and the Target registry will be under my favorite links. OK? Some of the items in the registry at BabiesRUs are showing as sold out, but I think that is online only. Print out the list and bring it with you to the store, or wait a couple months down the line. When I chose these items over the weekend, they were available, so they should be restocked again. I talked to Mom and Dad over the weekend and they are going to take care of getting us the car seat. Hooray!

Monday Madness

Time for Monday Madness!
Name your favorite...
1. Family Game Pictionary
2. Piece of Jewelry wedding ring
3. Winter Activity making a snowman if I'm in the snow. Or curling up with a blanket, a cat and a cup of cocoa.
4. Hot Beverage coffee
5. Quote "If my life is for rent, and I don't learn to buy, Then I deserve nothing more than I get, cause nothing I have is truly mine." -- Dido (weird that I would choose a song from Dido, but this really struck a chord with me, no pun intended!)
6. Color on You garnet red
7. Summer Activity hiking in nature
8. Topping on Pancakes real butter with real maple syrup
9. Musician Oy, too many to name!

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Rain has finally arrived

It's been absolutely dry and dusty for months now. We got about two weeks of cooler weather, and the last few days have been extremely hot and humid. Lo and behold, this morning it was raining! At last, I hope it can clean the air out a little and wash some of the accumulated dirt off everything. However, it might muck up our plans to go into town today. We shall see. Golf wanted to see the movie, 'Meet the Fockers' and I wanted to replace my crap shoes and get some more bread at my favorite bakery.

I got so aggrivated this morning -- our phone line should be trashed. It took the building about three or four months to get a phone line installed because of various issues, and lately the quality has been getting worse and worse. Talking on the phone is OK, but using the internet is dismal. It took me 45 minutes to connect today at anything higher than 16 kpbs. The phone line either dropped the connection, or I got a whopping 4 kpbs. Or simply keeping the connection altogether was a feat. I tried once when it finally connected at 4, just to see, and it's actually not as slow as you'd think. But the connection dropped after about one minute. UGH. At least I get internet at school, but what about my poor husband who must use the internet for his JOBS!!! And I get extra disappointed on the weekends, because the internet is my only source of entertainment besides seeing DVDs or going to the movies. TV here is all Thai.

Well, that's all my joyous news for the day. Back again later!

Friday, January 14, 2005

An easy week

Well I haven't been very active on my blog this week, mostly cause there hasn't been much to bitch about! LOL! Kidding. My mood from a few weeks ago has gone way up, much to the relief of everyone, I'm sure. My lessons have gone well and admin hasn't demanded too many things of us lately and I've been rather organized, so the rest of my Friday today is a breeze.

Tomorrow Golf and I will go to our usual quiet mall to get me some more sandals, cause the ones I have now have fallen apart way too quickly. I'll get some in a different color this time, likely black, since that goes with everything. Then I will, of course, get my bread. I'm loving my little sandwiches I have with breakfast every morning.

Talked to Golf yesterday about the fact that once my contract ends, I won't have 3 months of unemployment, but 4. The new school year begins in May, and I'll have practically the whole month to sit around and twiddle my thumbs until the baby comes. I would like to discuss with the school some sort of part time option that I can do until I go into labor, basically, and I can come back after like two weeks and continue an hour a day or so until we are ready to vacate our apartment. Without any income, the rent becomes a big expense over four months. If I can at least make enough money to cover the rent, then that will be a big savings. I hope I can work out something, and they like me, so hopefully they can find something for me to do, especially since we are suposed to have so many more students next school year. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Thank you Anna!

The other day my other wonderful sister sent me a beautiful black maternity dress and a cranberry colored maternity shirt. I have such generous and wonderful sisters. :)

Yesterday's blog entry got the attention of some friends and family wondering about putting together a party for Golf and I once we return to the States, since we won't have very much in furnishings for our apartment. I think it would be a great idea if anybody wants to help out. I'm enlisting Golf's help over the weekend to add stuff to our baby registry. For all our basic newborn supplies, I can get that all here, since it will be an immediate need. But for our return home, when baby is about 3 months old, we're gonna need stuff like a crib & bedding, a dresser for him, a carseat, and a stroller. I'll let ya'll know about our registry once it's completed. I also wish IKEA had a gift registry. I love their cheap furniture! Golf and I will have to buy a bed and mattress for ourselves, and I think that's the biggest of the furniture. And likely a bookcase or two. We'll just have to see about the rest because Mom and Dad also have furniture they're not going to be using for awhile either.

I'm getting SO excited about our move back home. I think about it about as much as the baby's arrival. Personally I love the Oakland Lake Merrit area to live and I'm going to encourage Golf to like it there too. LOL! My friend Carolyn lives nearby there and it's just real beautiful and rather peaceful. I love that lake and the views, I could walk there every day. The other area I like is the Oakland Piedmont/Montclair area. So close to many different amenities, both areas I can walk to get to the store and/or do errands without a car.

Baby's been dutifully kicking me every day, letting mommy know he's in there and growing up big and strong. It's been a pretty good day today overall.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Thinking about our big move

Golf and I have so much to look forward to this year, and so many big changes. One of the biggest challenges is his visa process to the States. We're going to hire a lawyer to take us through the process, to make the whole thing go smoother because we will have a load on our minds dealing with a new baby too. We just don't want to make any mistakes on such an important thing.

In the meantime, not only am I getting excited about baby, but I'm looking forward to cooking again and I've been comparison shopping online for different cookware sets. I want something good quality and right now I'm browsing around the All-Clad brand. Are there any other brands you all like out there? Next is cutlery. I want good pieces for our home, since I'm gonna cook alot. Just a couple of good knives because I know that I wouldn't use all the knives in a set, so I'd choose maybe three favorites. I'd like to order and ship all this stuff to my sisters before we arrive home, so I can have stuff to cook with once we move in. :) I haven't even considered dishware yet!

We have some big expenses to deal with while we are here, namely baby, airline tickets, and some other things, but it ain't anything compared to what we will have to spend once we get back to the States since we are practically starting over with not a whole heck of a lot.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Frustrations abound!

It started last week, when I wanted to transfer the majority of my money in my Krung Thai bank account into my Bangkok Bank account because KT sucks! I had to open an account with them so I could get paid through direct deposit with my school. They don't have many ATMs and if they do have them, half the time they aren't working properly. First I tried transferring funds through the ATM. No luck, I was over the limit both times. So we went to the bank to do it in person on Monday. Closed due to observance of New Year's Day. So we try the next day after work. Closed by 4:30. OK so try #4 should work. I get off work 45 minutes early to make this transaction. They don't do transfers after 1 PM. WHY?!?!!? The worker told Golf it's because the bank's systems aren't up to par with those in the USA. Goddamn I can't wait to come back home on days like that.

Then day after day, the internet doesn't work very well. I get connected at 9.6, then 14.4, then again at 16. Right now I'm blazing through the websites at a whopping 28.8 on a 56k modem. Gotta love the antique phone lines in this country! And this is after getting disconnected about 5 times.

Today was a good day nonetheless, because it's SATURDAY. We had a family function to go to, it's Golf's sister's death anniversary, and we went to the temple to make merit on her behalf by feeding five monks their lunch, having prayers and making food and supply donations. Her picture with some of her cremains in a small urn was part of an altar and a white string connected with her cremains ran from the urn to her picture to the Buddha altar right to the Lord Buddha image himself. It was very nice and I said a prayer in her honor. I think it's a very nice way of remembering our dearly departed every year, by giving and donating on their behalf and praying on their behalf every year they are gone.

Baby's been kicking away since Wednesday! Feels like the gassy bubbles, and it's not altogether pleasant, but I hope it will become better. I like feeling it, however, knowing my little guy is getting fit and strong!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

New Photos Uploaded

Golf took some pictures during my ultrasound and took my 20 week belly shot this morning. If you'd like to see them, please go to my pregnancy photo gallery.

Halfway there!

Today marks week 20 of my pregnancy, which means the bun is half-baked. :) See what's happening with my baby and my preggo body here. We also had our doctor's appointment yesterday with an ultrasound, and rather than post the whole thing here again, please go to my pregnancy journal to read all about what happened and the exciting news of the sex. :)

Got to talk to my mom and dad this morning, which was always very nice, they are so excited about becoming grandparents. I'm also excited about moving back home to the States, and I've been going to craigslist almost daily to look at apartments available in the areas we are interested in living.

Yesterday we also stopped at the World Trade Center and I saw a batik bedspread -- something I've wanted to get for a long time now, and we picked up a very nice king sized piece, but will keep it bagged until we move back home. Picked up some more bread, pastrami and gouda cheese from town too. YUMMY! :)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Back at School

Yesterday was my first day back at work. More teachers than me were not ready for our vacation to be overwith! At least everyone was there, students and parents included, with nobody going to the tsunami affected south areas.

Well, we have our ultrasound today at the doctor's. Will post here and on my pregnancy journal about it and hopefully the baby will show us if this is a boy or a girl in my belly!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Monday Madness

It's my last day of vacation, and it's also time for Monday Madness!

1. The most exciting thing that happened in your life this past year. Getting married to my DH, the love of my life, my soulmate.
2. Three resolutions that you've thought about making. Living a more simplistic life, continuing my yoga practice, and not becoming envious of those who have more than me.
3. Your biggest accomplishment this past year. Getting pregnant, I guess. It was something DH and I wanted very much.
4. Your biggest challenge this past year. Dealing with the cultural differences of Thai society in an enormous city. It drives me crazy on many days.
5. Something you tried for the first time (whether it be food, a sport, a hobby, etc.) Hmmm, tried plum pudding for the first time at Christmas Dinner.
6. Name 3 (or however many) things that happened this year that you did not anticipate happening. The tsunami, the Bush re-election, and the Musim uprising in Southern Thailand.
And on the flip side, name 3 (or however many) things that didn't happen this year that you expected to happen. I thought the school I wanted to work at the most wouldn't hire me, I thought I wouldn't get paid what I thought was fair but I did, I thought I'd get a huge class, but got a small one instead.
7. Where do you (or WOULD you) go for inspiration when you run out of questions for a meme? The national or international newspapers online to ask opinions on current events. OR go to Oprah's website to find out what sort of topics she's discussing that could generate discussion on a meme.
8. Something you'd like to accomplish (or do) this coming year that you didn't get a chance to do last year. I'm going to get back to my normal, American life! I'm going to get to cook again, drive a car, take a walk outside when it's not too polluted or HOT. In other words, we're gonna get to move back to the good ole USA later this year! HOORAY! :)

Saturday, January 01, 2005


Here we are, everybody, at 2005!
Yesterday Golf and I discussed our future, in 2005. I have a stamp in my passport that allows me to be here until September 10th. Now if I can stay here regardless if I'm working or not, (if I have a work permit) then I told Golf that I'd like to return to the States as soon as possible, like when the baby's 2 1/2 or 3 months old. That would give me six weeks of postpartum healing, plus a couple more weeks to get things together, pack, and get the Baby's documents in order (like getting a passport for him or her). This is, of course, assuming our baby will arrive on time and healthy. But how exciting this is for me! We could possibly return a couple months earlier than we had thought. I just have to ensure my passport situation with our admin immigration expert at school if I would be allowed to stay without a work permit. Golf will start his immigration process in mid February, because it takes about five months for a visa to be granted to let him stay in the US.

On a more grim note, last night before we went to sleep, Golf and I remembered where we were New Year's Eve last year. We had just returned from the Similan Islands and were staying at the coastal town of Khao Lak. This year, Khao Lak has been flattened and utterly devestated from the tsunami disaster six days ago. There are thousands dead and thousands still missing just in this town alone!

This morning, Golf and I are going to the temple to make merit for the new year. I will say a prayer while I'm there for all those who lost their lives or for those who are searching for missing relatives. It just keeps getting worse.